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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Blog

Just created a new blog. www.laughingabroad.com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What happens in Malta, stays in Malta?

Sometimes you might as well not keep everything about a vacation to yourself. Take the Justice Leig's latest adventure. It's inspiring, humanitarian, and god damn amazing. The Brock isn't often seen in public, so take a look at this rare account.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Visiting Family in Trinidad


It isn't like back packing around Asia or staying at an all inclusive in the Caribbean. It definitely isn't like hanging from a bungee attached to a dodgy South African bridge (maybe one day I'll try it). But visiting family can be pretty fun.

Maybe your idea of working at a hardware store is not exactly a dream vacation, but I have to say there was no other experience like working at a hardware store in Trinidad. For example, we had to deliver a bunch of hardware equipment to about 5 houses. I got to see the country side, meet local people and drink a cold beer on the way to each house. Try that drinking game next time you're on the road. It goes like this: beer, delivery, beer, delivery, beer, delivery, beer, delivery, stop at the bar for a beer. In case that wasn't clear each cold beer was purchased and drank on the way to the next delivery. Just to be clear - in no way do I support drinking and driving, but there was a sort of when in Rome mentality.

And the stories you hear are something else, a real healthy mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good: a story about a guy who bribed a cop with a doubles (a curried pastry type dish - worth about one dollar). The bad: the rising murder rates comparable with Jamaica and government corruption. The ugly: a story of a local mentally challenged boy who the police picked up from his home for no other reason but to bribe the family for a free case of beer and a cooked meal.

The point: There is something about 'off the beaten track' that backpackers talk about, but there isn't anything like visiting family. The cost? It cost me the price of air fare because family takes care of the rest, but the real deal isn't monetary. The real value is being exposed to the little surprises that you won't find in a tour book.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Travelling on the cheap - Don't take no for an answer

Meet George Aroutian. IT guy by day. I'm pretty sure he's an IT guy on his own time, Googling and what not. But most importantly he's a hard negotiator when times call for it.

When the volcanic ash froze the airline industry in April 2010, George was stuck in Amsterdam. He immediately got on the phone with Royal Bank travel agency, who he booked his ticket with, and didn't accept no for an answer. He negotiated himself 125 bucks a day-cash- and a flight home when the other companies were saying too bad so sad. My insurance company, for instance, basically promised the world and gave me the run around until I settled on them paying half of my expenses.

The point: Know your entitlements and don't accept no for an answer.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Creative travelling to keep costs low - Why not go by bike?

I'm sure there must be a term used for this time of year. Winter is setting in and we are dreaming of getting away from the cold up here in the dirty north. From Canada, Cuba clearly offers the best prices to get away from home, as shown in my last post - 508 bucks for a trip for two to Veradero, Cuba.

The downside to going to Cuba this time of year is the weather could be hit or miss. I looked at the weather this week and it hovers around 22 degrees during the best of times. That's not exactly the ideal beach weather, but it's perfect biking weather.

As a guy who does not own a car, prefers biking over driving, and takes the occasional long distance biking trip, I got to thinking. Why not bike around Cuba?

This couple wrote a book about it: Wallace & Barbara Smith.  After reading their site I bought their book on Amazon. Should  be an interesting read.

Guidebook authors Craig & Kathy Copeland had the same idea and posted this article in Calgary Herald a couple years ago. "The Canadian Embassy claims that about 500,000 Canadians visit Cuba each year. It's not true. Oh, the number's accurate, but the statement's not. Because very few of those Canadians actually visit Cuba...It might be a vacation from Canada, but it hardly qualifies as "visiting Cuba.""

Friday, January 7, 2011

$508 - Round trip for 2 to from Toronto Leaving Monday Jan 10

I've seen some pretty cheap prices, but I've never actually seen something this inexpensive.

http://secure.redtag.ca/se_1.06/step1-packages.php?sid=12775c9d62f047f9a87b2a9cccef2110#top_paging

Toronto to Veradero 508

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Air Canada Promo Code for 15% off - Book by Dec. 23, 2010

Just got this deal from AC by email and it's all your because we're not planning on using it.  Let us know if it works and do share where you're planning to go!

EXCLUSIVE PROMO CODE: 4NJKH3R1

As an exclusive holiday gift to webSaver subscribers, here's a special promo code to save 15% off our low Tango and Tango Plus fares on your next trip, to Air Canada destinations worldwide.
Use the above promo code to book a flight on aircanada.com, within Canada, from Canada to the US (valid only on Air Canada operated U.S.flights; codeshare flights not included), the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Australia or South America. The code is valid for up to 9 travellers on the same reservation and travel must be completed by May 15, 2011.

To get your discount, use the promo code above to book your flight at aircanada.com
by December 23, 2010.

Happy Holidays and thank you for being a loyal webSaver subscriber."